Survival tips for flash flooding


(Courtesy of the San Antonio Fire Department, USA)

Flash floods can be deadly. Saving your life can be as simple as turning your car around – if possible - when you see water on the road.

Here are several survival tips on what to do if you are driving or walking and get caught up in a flash flood. The most important advice is never try to drive through flooded roads or over low water crossings as they may have been washed away underneath the water.

  • If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water‚ leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
  • If your car is swept into the water and submerged‚ DON'T PANIC! Stay calm and wait for the vehicle to fill with water. Once the vehicle is full‚ the doors will be able to open. Hold your breath and swim to the surface.
  • If you are swept into fast moving floodwater outside of your car‚ point your feet downstream. Always go over obstacles‚ never try to go under.
  • If you are stranded on something above the floodwater‚ such as a tree or building‚ stay put and wait for rescue. Do not enter the floodwater.
  • When help arrives‚ stay calm and follow the directions of the rescue team.
  • If you are in a low-lying area during a flood‚ get to higher ground quickly. Avoid ditches that can channel swift water.
  • Do not attempt to cross flooded roads or streams on foot. The water may be flowing more rapidly than it appears‚ and it can take as little as six inches of water to knock an adult off their feet.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood dangers.
  • Never allow children to play near ditches and storm drains.

When a flood warning is issued, listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible. Always listen to the instructions authorities give you.


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